New figures have revealed that more people than ever are risking their lives by trespassing on the railway.

In 2016, there were more than 8,000 incidents where people risked their lives on the network , which amounts to one incident ever hour, an 11 per cent increase on 2015.

Released by Network Rail in conjunction with the British Transport Police (BTP), a comparison of data over a 10-year period shows that incidents are at an all-time high, with 555 children alone being caught committing the crime in 2016.

According to the report, 72 per cent of trespassers who died over the last 10 years were struck by a train, 17 per cent were electrocuted and 11 per cent died as a result of a fall.

The BTP’s video reveals some of the near misses on Britain’s railway network. 

Most trespassers were using the railway as a shortcut, according to the data, with 42 per cent citing it as their motivation, followed by thrill-seeking with 19 per cent.

The data, which comes weeks after Greater Anglia issued an anti-train surfing campaign, also highlighted that just under half of those killed were under the age of 25 and that the number of trespassers in spring and summer was double the amount in winter months.

Head of public and passenger safety at Network Rail Allan Spence said: “Every April we see a huge rise in the number of people taking a risk on the rail network and it’s worrying that these numbers seem to be going up.

“The dangers may not always be obvious but the electricity on the railway is always on and trains can travel up to 125 miles per hour, so even if they see you, they can’t stop in time.

“As the railway gets busier and we electrify more lines to improve services, we must work harder to keep young people safe by making them aware of the dangers.”

Network Rail’s community safety managers and BTP officers will be targeting areas where numbers of trespass incidents are high in the future.